National Safe Boating Week is May 16 to 22

What are you doing to make sure your boaters are safe this season? Hopefully you are preparing to participate in a local or national initiative for National Safe Boating Week, which is May 16 through 22.

According to data from the United States Coast Guard, 398 of the 560 boating-related deaths in 2013 were drowning fatalities, and in 328 of those instances it is known that a life jacket was not worn. In over half of the 91 trauma-related boating deaths in 2013, a life jacket was not worn.

While the number of boating fatalities has reduced dramatically in the past 20 years (560 deaths in 2013 versus 924 in 1991), one life lost on the water is too many, especially when these deaths can be prevented through safety precautions.

We need to protect the lives of our boaters by giving them as much education as possible, especially for new customers who did not grow up in the boating lifestyle.

If you don’t have anything planned, I would encourage you to participate in “Ready, Set, Wear it!” The National Safe Boating Council and Canadian Safe Boating Council are co-sponsoring “Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day” on May 16, which aims to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable like jackets inflated, and to educate the public about life jacket wear and safe boating.

To be sure your local efforts are counted in the record, be sure to record the event through photos or video and a sign-up sheet provided by NSBC, and to turn these material in to by no later than May 30, 2015.

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